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Supportive Care

Between 2014 and 2060, the population of Americans aged ≥65 years is projected to more than double, ushering in a transformation of our workforce, healthcare system, and understanding of aging.1 This generation, and those following, are expected to live longer and remain more active. Every day, the average life span increases by >5 hours, and a growing number of Americans at retirement age choose to continue working full-time.2,3 Unfortunately, with age comes higher rates of chronic illness, including cancer.4 In 2016, individuals aged ≥65 years represented 62% of all 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, and by 2040, they are expected to represent 73% of a projected 26.1 million cancer survivors.5
At the 12th Annual New Orleans Summer Cancer Meeting, Jessica MacIntyre, ARNP, NP-C, AOCNP, Director, Clinical Operations, Office of the Director, and Co-Leader, Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FL, discussed some of the most impactful supportive care abstracts from the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, as well as the potential implications of this new research in the field of nursing.
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer often wait too long to discuss their end-of-life preferences, or they do not discuss those preferences at all and pass away in a manner that is against their wishes.
Providers caring for dying patients should be prepared to discuss physician-assisted death (PAD).
Delaying medication processing is common, especially when it comes to oral cancer therapies. Oncologists at 3 oncology clinics looked at such barriers and the potential impact on patient outcomes.
Most oncologists’ knowledge about toxicities associated with newer therapies comes mainly from clinical trials, but publications of clinical trial safety results may be misleading.
Although patient self-reporting of symptoms has been shown to improve longitudinal tracking of symptoms and increase patient engagement in their care, these assessment tools are often underutilized in clinical care.
Adherence to infusional or injectable anticancer drugs is not problematic—as long as the patient gets the infusion or injection, adherence is assured—but adherence is an emergent problem with newer oral anticancer drugs.
Lori Williams, PhD, RN, has worked in oncology nursing for more than 30 years, and focuses her research on symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment.
Prophylactic probiotics can potentially prevent radiation enteropathy, according to research presented by Matthew A. Ciorba, MD.
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